4 December 2011 229.1 – The Panel start with a look at the first test against New Zealand. Daniel also reviews the Melbourne Tigers recent performances and says with the game on the line in the last four matches, they couldn’t get it done. The Gelding queries whether they are missing Patty Mills already. Dan Butterly comes on to discuss US sport talking College football including who will qualify for the National championship and the other BCS bowls. Once again Dan argues that there should be a playoff in College football. He also looks at the coaching carousel with a number of Colleges firing their football coaches and says it’s not good to be a coach at this time of year. Dan says Tim Tebow is a winner and Tebowmania has overtaken Denver. He thinks the Packers can run the table and sees the Colts going 0-16. The Professor and Dan discuss the bid by Jerry Kramer’s daughter to have him admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Professor learned about it on Twitter. Dan says it is an amazing story and he encourages the fans to learn more about the cause and Kramer’s career. Dan thinks Bobby Valentine’s hiring to coach the Red Sox is a great one. The Gelding talks racing and reviews both his selections and the Sydney Colts. Unfortunately for the Gelding his tips were just off the mark with four seconds. He awards an s-hit ride to Danny Nikolic for his ride on Starchine. Sportzfan Stan is upset that the Gelding has been invited to the Ladies at the Tennis club’s Christmas party but he hasn’t. Mark Fiorenti talks A-League soccer and says the Melbourne Victory are a ‘little bit’ back in crisis. The Professor reviews Mark’s pre-season ladder predictions, especially Adelaide on top and the Newcastle Jets on the bottom.
7 August 2011 213.1 – Once again Daniel Eade is unable to join the Panel, this time through illness. The Panel start the show with a discussion on the Melbourne Football Club. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport highlighting the imminent start of the College football season. He thinks it is no surprise that Oklahoma is ranked number 1 in the polls. It could be a great year for people who are against the BCS system. Dan is surprised that the Air Force Academy and San Diego State are not in the top 25. He believes that if TCU were a member of one of the BCS conferences they would have been ranked higher. Dan says it is a perception thing. He thinks it is out of Luke Fickell (OSU), Mark Richt (Georgia) and Rick Neuheisel (UCLA) who will be the first College football coach sacked. Dan then looks at the NBA lockout. He thinks it is going to be a very long dispute and realistically they could lose the whole season with the owners playing hardball. Plenty of players have signed overseas agreements meaning they think it won’t be sorted out soon. The NFL has solved their problems and their lockout is over with the teams now in training camp. Dan says it will be interesting to see how the pre-season will go with only a few weeks to the first game. He finishes with a chat about injured Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez being investigated for participating in an underground poker tournament. The Gelding comes on to talk horse racing from Flemington and Randwick yesterday. The Gelding picked three winners and a placing. He also indicates Danish Rock is due for a jumpout at Caulfield on Tuesday.
For the record let it be known that the TCU Horned Frogs (from the Mountain West Conference and ranked #3 in the NCAAF rankings) defeated the Wisconsin Badgers (from the Big 10 Conference and ranked #4) 21-19 to take out the prestigious Rose Bowl. Also for the record, TCU had a perfect season and finished with a 13-0 win loss record.
Only the vagaries of the NCAA/BCS (Bowl Championship Series) system could allow an undefeated team to not play for the #1 spot. Currently there are three undefeated teams in NCAAF play. Auburn, Oregon and TCU. Auburn and Oregon play off for number one spot on the 10 January 2011 in the ‘so called’ BCS Championship game.
My question to both the NCAA and the BCS is “How can the winner of that game possibly be crowned number one?”. If nothing else, at least the game will eliminate one of those teams from contention as one will suffer defeat and that will leave only two teams with perfect records. No amount of computer or human prediction will ever be able to tell us whether the TCU Horned Frogs could beat the other undefeated team.
Countless people, including President Obama have called for urgent change to the BCS system…and with good cause. The BCS is the equivalent of an exclusive club – in this case six BCS conferences who are guaranteed automatic berths to the big money Bowl games. These six BCS conferences are supposedly ‘stronger’ than the other conferences and therefore somehow have a greater entitlement. Let me say that in my years following NCAAF, that assessment can only possibly have been made on an historical basis. Clearly, that is not the case today.
Let’s for a moment take a look at the BCS Conference Wisconsin hails from – the Big 10. In Bowl games yesterday that Conference went 0-5 – a big duck egg!! If we now take the time to also review the Mountain West Conference, they are 4-1 in Bowl games this year, the fourth consecutive year they have sent five football teams to bowl games, posting the best win percentage among the eleven FBS conferences for the fourth time in seven years. The MWC will also claim the 2010-11 Bowl Challenge Cup, becoming the only Conference to win the trophy four times since the award’s inception in 2002-03.
So you tell me…on those figures alone, are the Big 10 stronger than the MWC? The answer is a resounding “No”! Do the Big 10 deserve preferred treatment over the MWC? The answer is also a resounding “No”!
As I see it there is only one solution to this impasse. Change the system! Bring in a playoff system between the top ten ranked teams. This could be done within the current Bowl calendar. It would also mean that many of those Bowl games would gain some relevance rather than be as they are now, a match between Colleges who managed to scrape together a .500 season. Hardly riveting, prime time viewing!
Fairness demands that parochial vested interests be set aside for a fairer system. Will it happen? Not unless the sporting public brings pressure to bear on the people controlling the system. Aside from the vested interests of the BCS conferences maintaining the status quo and hanging on to the big money Bowl games, perhaps more worrying to those Conferences is the spectre of being required to regularly compete against MWC colleges in the big games!
I am certainly looking forward to discussing this topic with our US correspondent, Dan Butterly, when Sportzfan Radio resumes on 16 January 2011. Our show won’t rest until the system is changed for the better!
12 December 2010 183.1 – Sean makes a rare appearance in studio and Daniel starts with an apology as it took him five days to read Mark Fiorenti’s blog so he knows nothing about what happened in the sports world for the week. He also adds his favourite Qatar player after some research is Eric Clapton and Sean adds that FIFA’s new game Qatar hero. Stan gets into Daniel again about basketball asking him how he thinks the Melbourne Tigers will go against Perth. Sean thinks as it is Al Westover’s 200th game it may get the Tigers across the line. Their is also a discussion about the the test cricket side and Stan is for sacking all the player sand the selectors. Dan Butterly talks US sport and commences with his view on the Heisman trophy and who will win it. He thinks Cam Newton from Auburn will win it, even with all the cloud of suspicion over him regarding the behaviour of his father. Dan also talks about the Bowl matches coming up with 35 being played over three weeks. He likes Oregon to beat Auburn in the Championship game and TCU to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. There are moves afoot within the Conferences and Hawaii has now decided to leave the WAC and join the MWC in 2012. The Professor asks whether the MWC will play a game in Australia given Hawaii is halfway here. Dan agrees that it would raise the MWC profile. Sean says AAMI stadium would be perfect to host such a game. Dan feels Brett Favre’s streak will end at 297 as he will not recover in time to play in tomorrow’s game.
The Professor thinks there may have been a first last week when the Gelding was not on the show at all. The Gelding talks cricket first discussing the problems with Victorians trying to get into the Test side. He then moves on to racing and reviews his selections for the Flemington meeting. Although he got off to a great start tipping Aloha to win, it was all downhill from there with his other three selections failing to even be placed. The Gelding’s favourite Qatar player is Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin.
The Panel discusses Gary Ablett’s revelations during the week where he hadn’t spoken to his coach, Bomber Thompson since March this year. Sean talks about a rumor that James Hird and Thompson had been talking about getting together for 2012 but because Essendon’s coterie groups wanted Matthew Knights out, everything got moved forward twelve months. Daniel starts talking about Bob Costas (NBC sportscaster) but he really means the Geelong president, Frank Costa. Stan is swinging the axe again and Sean observes he is going to put Centrelink out of business as everyone is getting the knife.
Mark Fiorenti talks up the local Melbourne derby between the Heart and the Victory with over 23,000 at AAMi stadium. Sean went to his first game during the week to see Heart play but they went down in front of around 2,000 people. Mark says it was the lowest ever at an A League game in Melbourne. He says the FFA must address this as mid week games don’t work.
28 November 2010 181.1 – Daniel is suffering with a toothache and gets plenty of sympathy, especially from Stan who says if you don’t clean your teeth you pay the penalty. The Gelding is late but hopefully he has a note from home. Stan has his weekly question to Daniel on the Melbourne Tigers. Daniel says he doesn’t think Tigers coach Al Westover should be sacked because he likes him. The Gelding talks about the First Ashes Test and the form of Michael Hussey. Daniel wants to know why Brad Hodge isn’t in the team and Stan observes that it is probably due to Victorian batsmen having fallen foul of the selectors in the past. Dan Butterly delivers his US report and starts with a discussion of Vince Young hurling his pads into the stands and then texting an apology to the coach, Jeff Fisher. He thinks that it was easier to get rid of Brad Childress than Brett Favre in Minnesota. He doesn’t think Favre will quit until the end of the season. In the NBA he feels that the Miami Heat don’t have a leader on the team as Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh are all playing ‘nice’ to each other. Daniel talks to Dan about LeBron’s return to Cleveland and says it should be an exciting game. He would go if he had a ticket. Daniel would like to see LeBron not voted into the starting five in the NBA All Star game and wants the Professor (and Sportzfan listeners) to vote for Amare Stoudemire to try and achieve this. Dan thinks LeBron will do the ‘powder clap’ in Cleveland. He has nothing new to report on Carmelo Anthony and says he will be staying with the Nuggets at this stage. In College football he is amazed that Boise State missed a field goal against Nevada that would have won the game. They went on to lose it and therefore won’t play for the national championship. Dan also talks on the BCS comments from Ohio State President Gordon Gee – he disagrees with him naturally. In MLB, the Yankees playing hardball with Derek Jeter but Dan believes he’ll eventually resign for what the Yankees have offered. Daniel explains the ‘powder clap’ for the listeners. The Gelding talks about the winners and losers from Sandown and Randwick and says the rain played havoc with the fields due to so many scratchings. The Panel discusses the heavy penalty handed out to rider Danny Nikolic over his behaviour to stewards after he was found wearing a modified racing vest.